English 117T

Shakespeare in the Theater: Performing Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2016 Marno, David
TTh 2-3:30 209 Dwinelle

Book List

Shakespeare, William: Troilus and Cressida, ed. Anthony B. Dawson


Imagine that the play is an exquisite silk dress. In lectures, we look at it from many different angles; we consider the materials it’s made of; we imagine who created it and why; we listen to the sounds it makes as it moves. If you ever wondered what it would feel like to put it on, this is a class for you. During the semester, we will not only close read and interpret one of Shakespeare’s strangest plays, Troilus and Cressida, we will also have an opportunity to perform our own version of it. To be sure, this is a literature class, and our purpose isn't to stage the best-ever version of the play, but to use performance as one more tool that can help us understand Shakespeare’s text. In addition to the play, we will read some of its textual precedents, including excerpts from Homer’s Iliad and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde; critical essays on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, some performance theory, and we will also watch theatrical and film adaptations of various Shakespeare plays. Assignments include two brief analytical papers (5 pages) and active contribution to the class. No previous acting experience required.

Members of the class will participate in a variety of capacities--as actors, extras, musicians, costume designers, prop builders, stage-hands, publicists, etc.

NOTE:  Students should plan to attend, in addition to the lectures, the twice-weekly rehearsals, which will take place TTh 3:30-5 in D1 Hearst Annex. Some additional rehearsals may also be needed as the performance date approaches.

NOTE ALSO:  Because this course concentrates on one play only, it will not satisfy the Shakespeare requirement for English majors.

Back to Semester List